The Washington Times - September 23, 2008, 08:37PM

John McCain went to Bermuda …

… and all I got was this lousy survival kit?

Democrats today pounced on John McCain, arguing in a new ad that he took $50,000 in contributions from people with Bermuda addresses after he traveled to the island last year and promised to fight any effort to clamp down on U.S. businesses that relocate offshore to take advantage of tax savings.

And to help reinforce the point for reporters, the Democratic National Committee sent reporters covering McCain a survival kit including sunscreen, a small piece of rum cake and a snow globe (for the record, DNC, mine leaked) with a picture of McCain. It also included a mock postcard from McCain to his campaign manager, former lobbyist Rick Davis, telling him the weather’s great, and so are the campaign cash opportunities.

Most important, though, was a copy of the Bermuda Royal Gazette with the article in which McCain promises to “oppose any measures that would upset” the tax haven.

It was all part of a coordinated effort to cut through the campaign clutter and try to get attention for the ad. The DNC also staged a mini-rally outside of Republicans’ D.C. headquarters to draw attention to the ad, and on the campaign trail in Woodbridge, Va., Joe Biden raised the Bermuda issue, saying McCain was playing the “old Washington game” by raising money from those he promised to help.

The McCain campaign said Obama himself does business with companies that use Bermuda as a tax shelter because he rents space from Bermuda-based Accenture.

Stephen Dinan, national political correspondent, The Washington Times